Aussie fashion icon Camilla Franks’ devastating surgery
CELEBRITY fashion designer Camilla Franks is mourning the loss of children she longs for but can no longer bear.
On the eve of Mother's Day, the 45-year-old has opened up about the "hideous journey" of breast cancer that "never ends".
Franks, who is blessed to be mother to three-year-old daughter Luna, is recovering from lifesaving surgery to remove her ovaries to protect herself from new cancers.
"Tonight I'm hugging Luna's teddy, which she gave me as I left her for surgery. It's my
comfort in a sea of sadness and I'm clinging to it like a life raft, breathing in her smell, feeling her presence and warmth. Its little furry body is soaked with a torrent of tears that I can't seem to stop," she said.
"I lie here with a broken heart as I recover from surgery to finally remove my ovaries. The grief and pain is excruciating I feel as if my chest is going to burst as I mourn the loss of children I can no longer bear."
The Kaftan Queen whose colourful maxi dresses are worn by Beyoncé, Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson and supermodel Miranda Kerr had already had both breasts removed after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 when her daughter was aged just eight weeks.
She carries the same BRCA1 'cancer gene' that forced Hollywood star Angelina Jolie to undergo surgery.
"First was the discovery of a lump, and the heartache of having to wean my eight-week-old baby off my breast within days," she said.
"Then six months of the bazooka of all chemo to attack my cancer, successfully. Then my treatment shifted to prevention. I underwent a double mastectomy, saying goodbye to my breasts which had only just been nourishing my beautiful newborn.
"Next went my fallopian tubes. But now, this. The divine essence of my womanhood. My ovaries, the most sacred givers of life, being taken from me, leaves the biggest hole of all."
Franks has penned an open letter as an ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), continuing her work helping to raise awareness and fund research in the hope of inspiring action to find a cure "and wipe this bloody breast cancer off the face of the earth".
She put off removing her ovaries as she attempted to fall pregnant through IVF, wanting
a "brood of bubbas".
"I've spent the past 18 months in pursuit of the dream of becoming a mother again," she said.
"I kept putting this final lifesaving surgery off in the hope that I could pull off a miracle. But five unsuccessful rounds of IVF later, with all the hope and disappointment they brought, has delivered me to this point.
"Now must accept that I will have one biological child."
NBCF CEO Sarah Hosking thanked Franks for sharing her story so others could understand that breast cancer can affect anybody "even the young and fit and healthy".
Franks' artist partner JP Jones is based in Wales with the couple separated for much of the past 18 months due to the global pandemic.
She will spend Mother's Day in Sydney with Luna.
"With Mother's Day this Sunday, I am reminded just how much being a mother is a gift," she said.
"And how many women will find this time painful. My heart aches for all those who never get to fulfil their dream of motherhood at all. I am blessed to have experienced motherhood. But as for so many other mothers and would-be mothers, breast cancer has cruelly decided our future.
"It's a battle we need to keep fighting to the point of exhaustion. A battle we need to win."
Franks described herself as a fighter as she looked to the future.
"There will always be an undertone of grief and sadness but I will thrive again. I will laugh. I
will feel joy. Because that is who I am."
Originally published as Aussie fashion icon Camilla Franks' devastating surgery